Free Press Journal

Bombay High Court disallows Kandivali school to distribute mark sheets on premises


Mumbai High Court

Mumbai: Even as the results for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) were declared early this week and schools have already started distributing the mark sheets, there are exceptions. Students from the Seth CV Dani High School in Kandivali west can expect their results late.

Not only this, even students of other standards of this school can expect to start their new academic year after a delay of few days. This is not because of some administration glitches but due to the orders of Bombay High Court.

These hundreds of students have to suffer all this due to the ongoing spat between their school management and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). This trust-run school has locked horns with the civic body over the alleged ‘dilapidated’ condition of its premises. A few years-long litigation between the school management and the civic body has resulted into sealing of the school’s premises.

A Division Bench presided over by Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Vibha Kankanwadi recently directed the school not to allow any person especially the students to enter its premises. The Bench has also asked the school not to distribute marksheets to SSC students on the premises. The Bench was hearing a notice of motion moved by this 30-years-old school seeking de-sealing of their premises, though for a week.

The school management had sought the relief as it has shifted the school in some other building now and is all set to start the new academic year. But it requires some necessary articles like benches, tables, black boards, old records, documents etc. Accordingly, they approached the Bench.

After hearing their submissions, Justice Oka said, “You (school) cannot expose students to the danger. We cannot allow de-sealing of the premises. No one can enter this structure.”

The advocate appearing for the school management, apprised the Bench with the importance of de-sealing their premises. The advocate told the Bench that the school needs to distribute the SSC results to students, so that they can start their admission process for junior college.

Irked by the submissions, Justice Oka said, “We cannot allow anyone to enter the building, especially the students. Marksheets cannot be given inside the building. It is your duty to make arrangements for distributing the marksheets to SSC students somewhere else.”

However, the Bench later allowed the de-sealing of the premises but for only two days. The Bench accordingly asked the school to file an undertaking that it would take two days only to remove all the required articles. The Bench also asked the school to state in its undertaking that it would only its staff to remove the required documents and articles.

According to the school management’s writ petition before the Bench, it first received a demolition notice from BMC, way back in August 2012.

However, later in July 2014, the civic body’s engineer claimed that the school building is not in the category of dilapidated structures and is rather ‘repairable.’

The school now claims that even after the BMCs engineer has specifically stated that their premises is not in dangerous condition, the civic body is still threatening them to demolish the structure.

The school management has also said before the HC that it is ready to carry out all the repair works in the building; however, the BMC is refusing them to head with the same.

After hearing all the submissions, Justice Oka asked the school management to make a fresh application before BMC and seek permission to carry out repair works. The Bench has also asked the civic body to consider the same in accordance with law.